Function Generators

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

A function generator is a signal source that has the capability of producing different types of waveforms as its output signal. The most common output waveforms are sine-waves, triangular waves, square waves, and sawtooth waves. The frequencies of such waveforms may be adjusted from a fraction of a hertz to several hundred kHz. Actually the fun

Function Generators
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ction generators are very versatile instruments as they are capable of producing a wide variety of waveforms and frequencies. In fact, each of the waveform they generate are particularly suitable for a different group of applications. The uses of sinusoidal outputs and square-wave outputs have already been described in the earlier Arts. The triangular-wave and sawtooth wave outputs of function generators are commonly used for those applications which need a signal that increases (or reduces) at a specific linear rate. They are also used in driving sweep oscillators in oscilloscopes and the X-axis of X-Y recorders. Many function generators are also capable of generating two different waveforms simultaneously (from different output terminals, of course). This can be a useful feature when two generated signals are required for particular application. For instance, by provid ­ing a square wave for linearity measurements in an audio-system, a simultaneous sawtooth output may be used to drive the horizontal deflection amplifier of an oscilloscope, providing a visual display of the measurement result. For another example, a triangular-wave and a sine-wave of equal frequencies can be produced simultaneously. If the zero crossings of both the waves are made to occur at the same time, a linearly varying waveform is available which can be started at the point of zero phase of a sine-wave. Another important feature of some function...

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